The Check-In Process for Charter Flights

Checking in at the airport

When flying with a commercial airliner, the check-in process can be daunting, stressful, and time-consuming. Delays and other unforeseen circumstances often cause travelers to miss their flights, which can add on to the frustration of flying. Private aircraft chartering, however, is a completely different process that eliminates the anxiety that comes with the typical check-in process. The specific check-in process you go through when flying privately will vary based on the airport you’re flying out of, as some airports will offer more options than others. However, when it comes to private aircraft chartering, you can generally expect some of the following perks:

Arrival at the airport

When you’re flying on a commercial flight, you generally have to arrive well before your flight’s departure time. Depending on where you’re flying (international flights require an earlier arrival time) and whether you’re checking baggage, you may need to arrive up to three hours before your scheduled departure time. If you have an early morning flight, this can be especially inconvenient, and if your flight ends up getting delayed, you could find yourself sitting around the airport the entire day. No matter your reason for traveling, nobody wants to waste time by being stuck at an airport all day, and this could significantly delay the beginning of your trip. Depending on why you’re traveling, this could also cause you to miss something important: the departure of a cruise, a wedding, an important business meeting or convention, and so on. It may even cause you to miss a connecting flight, which can be even more of a disaster.

Flying private, however, entails a much simpler and faster process. You typically only need to arrive 10 to 30 minutes before your private flight departs. If you are running a little late for any reason, you don’t have to worry about missing your flight, since your chartered flight is specifically reserved for your own private use. 

Airport terminal

Fixed-Based Operators (FBOs)

When you charter a private flight and arrive at the airport for check-in, you will typically go through an area known as a Fixed-Base Operator (FBO), which is a dedicated charter flight terminal. This part of the airport is reserved exclusively for travelers flying on their own charter flights, and it provides an expedited screening and boarding process for those passengers. FBOs are often equipped with their own lounges, eating facilities, restrooms, and other amenities to ensure your comfort prior to boarding your private flight.

Security procedures

Security at the airport is a necessary, but tedious procedure, especially if you’re flying during peak travel times. Not only can security take a long time for anyone flying commercially, but there are also certain steps you have to follow and other restrictions that are in place.

Flying private means you have a much more expedited and personalized screening process. Although you do have to go through security prior to boarding a private flight, it’s your own expedited screening. You don’t have to remove your shoes or limit the amount of liquids you carry on board, either. When flying private, you also have the peace of mind of knowing who you’re traveling with.

Aircraft chartering

Ramp access

After a quick security screening, some passengers will have the opportunity to drive their car directly onto the tarmac next to their private aircraft and board the plane. This option isn’t available at all airports, but for the airports that do offer this option, many travelers find that it is the fastest and most stress-free way to check in for a flight and board. It is especially convenient if you’re traveling with kids and/or pets, and if you’re looking to maximize your time as much as possible.


Checking in your luggage can be another nuisance when it comes to flying commercially. Airlines often tack on extra fees for bags, and there are restrictions when it comes to how much luggage you can bring, as well as limitations to the weight of your baggage. Depending on where you’re going, the purpose of your trip and how long your trip will be, this can make things particularly challenging. Some people are often told at the last minute they can’t bring specific items on board, leaving them in a tough situation. 

Your luggage isn’t an issue when you fly private, and you also have the option to bring certain items that typically wouldn’t be allowed on a commercial flight. Instead of a specific baggage limit or weight limit when it comes to what you’re allowed to bring on a private flight, you’re given a payload limit. This limit includes the collective weight of everything and everyone on board, and as long as that limit is not exceeded, passengers are free to bring whatever they want on board for carry-on and in the belly of the plane. From shopping sprees to large amounts of sporting equipment, flying privately is the most flexible way to travel and not feel limited to what you can bring.

Check-in process for charter flights

Choosing an airport

When you charter a private flight, you have access to more airports around the world than commercial airlines have access to. This gives you the opportunity to choose a municipal airport that’s closest to you, your final destination, or an airport that allows ramp access, if you prefer. At Luxury Aircraft Solutions, we can help you pick the best airport for departure if a simplified check-in process is a top priority. And as a member of our exclusive Jet Membership program, you can ensure expedited check-in procedures for all of your flights. Contact us today to learn more and to charter your next private flight!

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